Photo: biffspandex (Getty Images)
Scene: the University of Central Florida, game day. Students and alumni flood the campus with visible excitement on their faces. The campus is teeming with life like a drunken ant colony. The alumni pitch their tents throughout campus from the library to just outside the stadium itself. Meanwhile, students congregate either at the frat-run Lake Claire tailgate or the school-sponsored Memory Mall tailgate. No matter where you decide to tailgate or who you decide to tailgate with, you’ll have an excellent time. This is mostly because UCF is a “wet campus” so adult beverages can be found on every corner. But alcohol aside, the people at UCF’s tailgates truly create a fun and friendly tailgating environment.
Here are three distinct ways to tailgate at UCF:
1. Tailgate With Alumni
Alumni obviously do not accept the lunacy or the excessive consumption of alcohol common among current college students. Also, the alumni don’t let just anyone in their tents or share their beer supply because they are often with their families. That said, alumni will play against you in beer pong, volley pong, and corn hole. So if you are looking to consume alcohol with random alumni, just find the right set of alumni and lose to them in beer pong. The alumni by the library are the most fun, while the alumni that hang out by the stadium tend to be less lively.
2. Tailgate At Memory Mall
This is where the majority of UCF students congregate on game day. Memory Mall is comprised of a massive set of fields. Tents line the edge of the fields to preserve open space in the middle. The environment at the tents is very friendly. People nab alcohol from one another without anger or care; it’s just the expectation. Everyone shares their supply and there is so much cheap alcohol that people practically give it away. Every tailgating activity can be found at Memory Mall, from beer pong to shots to tossing footballs. It’s pleasantly organized chaos. Memory Mall is only brisk walk to the stadium…or, in the case of drunk college students, it’s only a quick stumble to the stadium.
3. Tailgate At Lake Claire
Lake Claire might be too loud for some tailgaters, but for others, it’s their jam. People dance, bump, grind, bounce, and jump with happy, hyper energy. This tailgate is run by the frats (if you can even claim that anything is being “run”) and the set-up is haphazard with tents placed in the most random locations. People can be found in clusters. It’s a wild and dazed scene, but you won’t find the douchebaggery often associated with frats here. Frat members are friendly and let anyone come to into their tailgates (even if they don’t allow just anyone into their frat houses). Even fans of opposing teams are welcome to join the revelry with UCF fans. Unlike Memory Mall, the alcohol here does not flow like the Rhine. The booze is plentiful but only handed out to those of the female gender. However, a dude could easily lose his mind here if he had a female companion with him.